Thursday, July 30, 2009

Twitter - How Not to Act Old

I started using Twitter about a year ago and am sort of surprised at how much it's taken off. I don't use it as much as some, but I enjoy reading what others are doing.

I recently read a humorous article in the July/August 2009 issue of More Magazine called "How Not to Act Old". The author, Pamela Satran, has written a book with that title and also has a blog. If you click here, you can read her blog about how not to act old on Twitter.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tip Tuesday - A New Use for an Old Item

Here's a great way to store your kid's coloring books, crayons and markers. Use an old (or new) dish drainer and place the crayons and markers in the silverware holder and use the plate rack for lining up their coloring and sticker books.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Book Review - Throw Out Fifty Things

Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life

I just finished reading "Throw Out Fifty Things - Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life" by Gail Blanke. I enjoyed reading this book because the author writes in a very down-to-earth style that's sure to appeal to any reader. She incorporates her own personal experiences in dealing with her own clutter - something most organizing authors never do. You really feel like you can relate to her which is important when trying to handle your own clutter issues.

Ms. Blanke has some creative ideas for dealing with items you're ready to part with - like holding a clothes swap with friends or having a neighborhood yard sale. Getting others involved in paring down is helpful as this is something everyone needs to do at one time or another. If you feel like you're not decluttering alone, you're much more likely to keep it up.

Throughout the book, the author keeps a running total of the items she's giving away. She counts each type of item (jewelry, books, shoes) as one item but at the end of the book, she's given away over 41 types of items.

She also has a website - where you can keep track of your progress. At the back of the book is a wonderful Resource Guide with websites you can visit that handle just about any kind of donation from bicycles to building materials to electronics.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Medicine Disposal - The Right Way

My in-laws both passed away within the last 18 months and, after cleaning out their home of the last 20 years, we were left with a large bag of medicines that were no longer needed. I struggled with how to dispose of this medicine and here's my story.

We brought the medicine home with us (and it was a lot). I called a doctor friend of mine who wasn't sure what to do with the medicine. He later called me back to say that it's possible you could bring it to a doctor's office and they would dispose of it. However, I wasn't sure of what the "how" meant - throwing it away, flushing it down the toilet... neither of which was acceptable to me.

I then went to my local pharmacy and was more surprised that no one there knew of an acceptable way to dispose of old medicine and one pharmacist actually told me to put the pills in some cat litter which would take away it's potency and then throw it all away inside the cat litter. Again, not acceptable.

Finally, I called my local hazardous waste facility and was pleased to learn that they have a program for disposing of old medicine - similar to how they dispose of sharps waste (needles, syringes, etc.).

Fortunately, they were having a hazardous waste roundup at the Rose Bowl last Saturday and I was able to take the medicine there along with some old paint and gardening fertilizer that I no longer needed.

I felt good that the medicines were being disposed of properly and I would encourage you to look into your local hazardous waste facility when you need to dispose of old medicine rather than throwing it away or flushing it down the toilet - both of which can contribute to poisoning of either our drinking water or soil.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tip Tuesday - Vacations and Food

If you're planning a vacation this summer, make sure you use up all the perishables in your refrigerator for the few days leading up to your trip. Plan meals around what you have at home so you won't waste money throwing out food before you leave or coming home to a refrigerator full of spoiled food.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Books for Soldiers

This is a great website that coordinates the shipping of new and used books to soldiers stationed overseas. Here's a great donation source for those books you've read but no longer need and what a way to make a difference in someone's life.

Check out their website by clicking on the "Books for Soldiers" logo at the top this blog.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Elfa Installation - 50% Savings at The Container Store

If you've been considering one of The Container Store's wonderful Elfa closet systems but weren't sure how to install it, take heart. The Container Store is offering 50% off its installation services on closet systems of $500 or more. Check out their website for more details by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Daily Thought from Real Simple

Today's Daily Thought from Real Simple Magazine made me laugh and I wanted to share it with you:

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
―Susan Heller

Tip Tuesday - Recycle Used Footwear

Did you know your old running shoes can provide material for sports and playground surfaces by being recycled through Nike?

Check out their website by clicking here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Moving Checklist - Part 2

Two Weeks Before Move

Notify utility companies on both ends of your move. Have utilities at your existing residence stay connected until the day after your move. Have the utilities at your new residence turned on the day before your move. If you are just moving across town, see if you can keep the same accounts open for telephone, gas and electricity.

Purchase change of address cards to send to friends and family. You can have pre-printed cards made up or print them yourself on the computer. Include your new phone number and email address on the cards as well.

Change your address on all remaining accounts including credit/charge cards and banking accounts. Fill out a forwarding order at the post office for all other mail.

Arrange to have your new residence thoroughly cleaned prior to moving in. Do the same at your existing residence after you move out.

Contact a locksmith in your new neighborhood to arrange to have the locks changed on your new residence at the time you move in. Make this appointment for the day you move in if you can arrange a convenient time.

One Week Before Move

Finish packing any remaining items that will go with the movers. Set aside a space in each room for items you will be bringing with you (either by car or in your suitcase if moving out of the area).

Create a "last-out, first-in box" which will hold items you will need immediately upon arriving at your new home. This should include sheets, pillows, towels, paper plates, napkins or paper towels, plastic utensils, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and anything else you will need that first night to feel comfortable. This box should be the last one on the moving truck and the first one off.

Plan to take jewelry and other valuables with you in your suitcase or in your car so they are not out of sight at any time. When you arrive at your destination, keep them locked in the car on moving day.

Day of Move

Talk a walk through each room to make sure you have packed and taken everything you wanted.

Leave a drawer in the kitchen filled with appliance manuals, keys and other instructions on the home you are leaving for the new tenants/owners.

When you arrive at your new home, make sure to have someone there to direct traffic so the movers can quickly and efficiently place furniture and other items where they will go. The sooner they finish, the sooner you can begin to settle in to your new home.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Moving Checklist

Summer's here - the busiest time of the year for moving. For my next two posts I will be blogging a moving checklist which will help organize your move and make it easier than ever before.

Six Weeks Before Move

Hire a moving company. If you're happy with one you've used before or you know someone who's raved about their moving company, give them a call. Or check the Yellow Pages or online at for a moving company in your area. Be sure and check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no outstanding claims against the company.

Once you've picked the moving company you want to use, schedule an appointment with them for a thorough inspection of what you plan to move. Get insurance coverage with the moving company as well as with your homeowners insurance company to ensure that any breakage/damage will be adequately covered.

Five Weeks Before Move

Take a tour through your home and designate items you'll be giving away, those you're selling and those you'll be keeping and moving with you. Get those items you can do without out of the house now and off to charity, consignment, Craig's List or Ebay. It will make it easier to see what you have left to move and will free up space for packing boxes.

Start thinking about magazines/periodicals and newspapers that will need to be forwarded to your new address. If you know where you're moving now, start the process of sending forwarding information to publishers so that your reading materials will get to your new address easily. Use the mailing label on your magazines for the information publishers will need to get this rolling.

Four Weeks Before Move

Start packing. If you can borrow or acquire used boxes from a friend, neighbor, or off of Craig's List, great. Otherwise you will have to purchase packing boxes which can be expensive. I usually advise my clients not to use boxes from the grocery store because they may contain insects or insect larvae which will then be brought into your home.

Buy clean packing newspaper (available at office supply and U-Haul locations) for packing your china and glassware. Regular newsprint can transfer on to your glass items which will then require cleaning before they can be put away.

Pack those items you will not be needing before the move first.

Make a chart of your new home and color-code each room. While you are packing boxes, make sure you color code packed boxes (use colorful stickers) for the appropriate room where they will be placed by the movers on moving day.

Three Weeks Before Move

Set up telephone and cable service at your new address. Make appointments now to avoid delays in service when you arrive at your new home. Schedule the appointments for the day after you arrive if possible.

** Watch for my next blog post which will continue this moving checklist. **

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tip Tuesday- Recycling Old Eyeglasses

Here are a couple of websites where you can send your old eyeglasses and they will be donated to a worthy cause:


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Celebrate Independence Day

Wishing all my readers a very Happy 4th of July. What are you doing today? We're having a BBQ and then walking down the street to watch the fireworks. It should be a lovely show.

Have fun today and be safe.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection Events in Southern California

Here are some of the upcoming hazardous waste collection events in Southern California through the summer:

July 11, 2009 - Norwalk - Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd., Norwalk, CA 90655

July 11, 2009 - Artesia - Artesia City Yard
18803 Corby Avenue, Artesia, CA 90701

July 18, 2009 - Glendora - Citrus College Stadium Parking Lot
Barranca Ave/North of Alostra - Glendora, CA 91740

July 25, 2009 - La Habra Heights - Hacienda Park
Hacienda Heights & Encanada Dr., La Habra, CA 90241

July 25, 2009 - Compton - Compton Airport
901 West Alondra Blvd., Compton, CA 90220

August 1, 2009 - Whittier - Rio Hondo College (Parking Lot "A")
3600 Workman Mill Road, Whittier, CA 90601

There are also six permanent Hazardous Waste Collection Centers in the greater Los Angeles area. Log onto for more information.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

25% Off Coupon for The Container Store

Here's a link to The Container Store's latest promotion - 25% off everything in the store through July 12th.

Click here to get to the coupon.

Real Simple Daily Thought

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.

―Robert Orben

What are you doing for vacation this year?